The major supercar powerhouses are still slugging out for the accolade to be considered the greatest. Like many, we remember the heady days of the F40, Countach and 958 and the battle today is equally fascinating.
Ferrari have entered their stunning LaFerrari into the arena to face the magnificent Porsche 918 Spyder and the Lamborghini Aventador but all now have to contend with a new snotty nosed newcomer, the McLaren P1. You can also throw into the mix Zondas, Konningseggs and Bugattis, but this a fight for the poster space on 10 year old’s bedroom wall once covered by the F40, Countach and 958.
Over the next few weeks we will be looking more closely at the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and McLaren to see if one of these can assert themselves as the icon of it’s age.
Each of these new models have been engineered to adapt to a changing world since the time of the F40 et al, and we intend to find out which one has managed to keep the spirit of those predecessors, while providing us with the experience we expect from a modern supercar.
First we start with the LaFerrari, Ferrari’s 2 door, rear engined, rear wheel drive supercar. The LaFerrari is a highly ambitious project utilising what is called a ‘mild hybrid’ engine. This gives La Ferrari a higher power output of any Ferrari but thanks to ingenious electrical wizardry, manages to reduce fuel consumption by 40%. This is positions Ferrari in an ideal space between the pressures of fuel economy and outright power. The LaFerrari can produce an amazing 950bhp which nothing short of incredible. The technology for this has been developed in conjunction with the Formula 1 team, so it’s good see something good has come out of the otherwise disappointing Alonso era. The engine is a naturally aspirated V12 to give the grunt needed and is knitted with lithium battery pack and is designed to work as one unit, optimising power and efficiency, a development which Ferrari hope will give LaFerrari the edge over other semi-hybrid supercars.
LaFerrari has a 7 speed dual clutch and revolutionary auto gearbox which itself is packed with more electrical tricks all of which enable the LaFerrari to reduce valuable weight. Combined with a carrion fibre tub and as much carbon fibre possible elsewhere in the car all mean the LaFerrari is light and nibble and in when put together with the power unit, promise us an amazing prospect.
The electronic gadgets are extended over the entire car, with yet more computers giving LaFerrari the optimum grip, aerodynamic and downforce needed for any give situation.
The inside of LaFerrari is stunning. The cabin space is actually quite large as the car has been designed for those wishing to wear a crash helmet, so as an everyday car, LaFerrari is perfectly usable, should you want a LaFerrari as an ‘everyday’ car.
With only 500 being made, not many have had the chance to drive LaFerrari, so we have to look those who have been lucky enough to find out what they think of the driving experience.
The car feels as near as Ferrari can get to the F1 experience, with a very low driving position. Although fully adjustable, it’s always a very similar seating arrangement to that of a single seat racing car. This obviously completely by design and gives LaFerrari and authenticity which plays on it’s valuable racing DNA.
The noise from the V12 is incredible. The ride is said to be smooth and calm with a light touch to the steering. As you would expect, the accelerator is responsive and the feeling you get when the 950bhp starts to filter through to the road is mind blowing.
Now how about the looks. Will it pass the bedroom poster test? LaFerrari looks aggressive and potent. For me it lacks a little of the finesse of the F40, but when judged alongside it’s modern challengers, it looks amazing. Interestingly, none of the design work was done by the Pininfarina design house which is a brave move. It still looks like a Ferrari and the in-house team at Maranello have done a great job, but is there something missing that only Pininfarina can offer. Maybe not in design and looks as it is a great looking car, but it is one step removed from it’s forbears, and in particular the F40 on the wall. I’m sure the 10 year old me would still love to have it on the wall. This is a true masterpiece and will take some beating. Bring on the Aventador. Lets see what you can do.
At PB Supercars we have a selection of Ferrari’s available to hire. Whether you want to hire a Ferrari 458 for a hot date or you want to rent a Ferrari F430 Sypder for a summer road trip, you can drive your dream car with PB Supercars.